Pros: free coffee/tea all day, beautiful facilities, easily walkable area, metro accessible, passionate coworkers
Cons: unpaid work, a lot of ups and downs in short periods of time
Every day I would check emails, follow-up with supervisors, and be assigned new tasks for the day. I had the opportunity to experience how large organizations, with many people and many "moving parts" function. I was responsible for keeping up with three supervisors and the tasks they needed assistance with. My coworkers were fun and the environment – more... was largely enjoyable and supportive.
The most enjoyable part of my job was working in a gorgeous facility with people who were truly passionate about their work. I would feel very fortunate if every group I had the pleasure of working with had the passion and dedication to their work that the team at MSH Arlington has for theirs.I also had the opportunity to meet many prominent people in my field and one day I even visited every single congressional office on Capitol Hill!
The hardest part of my job was that the main project I had been originally expected to do during my internship was cancelled due to the government shut down and since no one could have planned for that to happen my experience and tasks were probably more disorganized than they would have been had the project not been cancelled. I wasn't prepared that so much of the work of the department I was in was dependent on politics and I learned that was not the area for me. I chose to take on unpaid work but found I had to keep two paid jobs in order to balance the cost of an entirely unpaid internship. I feel this policy of not paying interns (especially when they give preference to full-time interns) is exclusionary to otherwise qualified candidates who cannot afford to work for free. – less